Today, Merseyside Police reminds communities of its commitment to working together with communities and partner agencies including Knowsley Council to tackle all violence against women and girls in Merseyside.
The force welcomes the latest government announcement of tougher management of the most dangerous abusers and new protections for victims, which will work alongside the existing measures Merseyside Police have that help keep women and children safe.
The announcement includes:
- Tougher management and tags for the most dangerous abusers and new protections for victims
- The most harmful domestic abuse offenders will be recorded on the Violent and Sex Offender Register
- ‘Ask for ANI’ codeword scheme expanded to 18 Jobcentres and Jobs and Benefits Offices across the UK
- Violence against women and girls classified as a national threat for policing for the first time
The new proposals aim to stop domestic abuse before it takes place and go further than ever before in protecting women and girls from harassment, aggression and violence.
Last year Merseyside Police set out their strategy, which reaffirmed its commitment to keeping women and girls safe across Merseyside. In it they pledged to take action to:
- engage and involve women and girls in their work to tackle violence and intimidation they face
- help men understand the part they have to play in eliminating violence against women and girls
- address feelings of safety
- work with partners, including Knowsley Council, to ensure a co-ordinated and effective response to prevent and tackle violence against women and girls.
- improve the internal culture of Merseyside Police to respond effectively to address sexism, misogyny and any breaches of the standard of professional behaviour
Merseyside Police are continually looking at ways in which they can take on board the views of women and girls to understand what more policing can do to keep them safe and put effective measures in place that respond to those fears and concerns.
Merseyside Police have recently embarked on its biggest ever consultation with women and girls across Merseyside to gain a wider understanding of how safe they feel in the areas they live, work and socialise. The survey is one of the many ways they are engaging with women and girls to tackle violence against them. It is crucial that communities feel comfortable telling the police what they can do to help officers take action to support them and trust the police to see this through.
This is in addition to a number of operational methods the police have implemented to keep women safe which include, ‘Walk and Talk’ where women and girls are invited to walk with officers on a route that they feel is unsafe to discuss their concerns, Op Empower, the night time economy operation which aims to prevent sexual violence in the night time economy, reviewed how Merseyside Police investigate rape and the support services available to support victims of sexual assault, and introduced weekly scrutiny meeting, which look at the force’s domestic abuse response.
Internally they have trained frontline officers to challenge disrespectful behaviour in the workplace, and reviewed and identified learning from complaints against officers related to VAWG. They have recently relaunched an internal campaign designed to encourage officers and staff to ‘Call it out.’ The campaign aims to empower officers and staff to challenge, report and stop inappropriate behaviour.
Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “Merseyside Police welcome that VAWG will be added to the Strategic Policing Requirement, giving it a level of priority, it deserves. We, along with other forces, have already prioritised Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) and it is essential that we all work together to make Merseyside a safer place for women and girls to live, work and visit, free from harassment, abuse, and violence.”
If you are experiencing domestic abuse there is a range of help available from specially trained officers in the forces Protecting Vulnerable People Unit, to IDVAs (Independent Domestic Violence Advisors) and numerous charities and organisations across Merseyside. If you can find the courage to come forward and report it, there are people ready to support you and treat you with compassion, respect and care.
To report domestic abuse you can contact @MerPolCC, report online – Report domestic abuse | Merseyside Police, via 101, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. In an emergency you should always call 999.
If you are not at immediate risk but are concerned, please contact one of the services listed below:
Knowsley Council Safer Communities Domestic Abuse Service
Tel: 0151 443 2610*
*Please note the team are only available during office hours.
Knowsley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
Tel: 0151 443 2600
Further support is also offered by these national agencies:
victimcaremerseyside.org (directory of services)
Women’s Aid | womensaid.org.uk | www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)
Worst Kept Secret Helpline: 0800 028 3398
Refuge (includes information for men) | refuge.org.uk | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428
RASASC – Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre – National phone line 0330 363 0063
Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123